It has come to my attention that some people “one person” finds it insensitive that I write about my wicked “crazy” stepmother on this blog. And when I got this notice, I got pissed. So pissed I kicked my car and probably put a dent into it. Until I realized that it doesn’t matter who is offended at my writing because it is my writing that has…and always will get me through things in life. It is a way to express my emotions in a healthy way. And I have them: sad, happy, pissed, elated, annoyed, excited. You name it, I have them. And if what I write can help even one person a day, then it’s worth it. If I can make someone laugh or cry or feel or think. Worth it.
However, people telling me what to do is a major trigger but people telling me how to feel and what to write, sets that trigger off something fierce.
And if you don’t like what I write, that’s fine and I respect that but DO NOT…ever…and I mean EVER text or IM or call or email me and tell me not to write something because it offends you. That will be the end of any relationship you may have with me if you even have one to begin with. That is not up to you. You deal with things your way. I will deal with things mine. And like I said the saying in our house now is, “I’m in therapy. What are you doing?” And if you want to control what I write, please take a look at this amendment:
Freedom of speech is the right to communicate one’s opinions and ideas without fear of government retaliation or censorship. The term freedom of expression is sometimes used synonymously, but includes any act of seeking, receiving and imparting information or ideas, regardless of the medium used. (even if it is about your crazy relatives – I think that should be added to this)
Now on to today’s saga.
Me: What is going on?
D: Blah, blah blah,…….crazy, crazy crazy
Me: Blah, blah, blah, she is crazy, crazy, crazy
25 minutes later
Me: It would be easier to pull the plug except there isn’t one to pull since she is fine
D: Too bad we don’t live in Oregon
The saga continues as it always does. The alien had a bad day at assisted living. She was “rushed” to the hospital in Boston for a UTI. This has been the song and dance for my entire life. I truly don’t think she will be happy until her full time residence is at a hospital (or a casket). It truly is a disease wanting that attention. The only time she feels safe is if there are doctors around, and charts and people doing all sorts of tests. I can’t imagine what the doctors and nurses think when they hear she is coming again. Her chart must have it’s own separate filing room.
The latest emergency happened last week and I think she might still be in the hospital. Here is an abbreviated version of this text conversation with my dad. * Side note: he finally got a phone and can text so I don’t have to answer the phone anymore. This has significantly helped our relationship and communication and has allowed me to be more honest.
D: “Still no word on when a hospital room will become available since it must be a private one as she may have an infection in her bowels. In the meantime everyone else has left for home and eventually I will have to also because of lack of sleep (3 hours maybe)”
Me: “yeah you should def go home. can’t she go back to her private room in assisted living? isn’t that the point of that place?”
D: “Right now they have to develop a new treatment plan that should be done in a hospital setting. It’s not clear if she will ever go back and go to a skilled nursing facility”
Me: “She just needs doctors to deal with her so you can rest. She won’t be happy unless she is in a hospital or nursing home.”
D: “She does not have a bowel infection but this is the weekend and I think the staffing is light.”
Me: “Well low staffing doesn’t mean something is wrong with her. Time to go back to assisted living then”
D: “There are several things they could work on such as Karen’s cough, her legs and her total lack of energy along with her anxiety. ”
Me: “Mash up some klonopin in her drink. It would help.”
D: “That would be illegal but it has been suggested (sort of) by others.”
And I digress…
My dad and stepmom give me plenty of writing material. Enough material to write a tell-all book. Actually enough material to write three tell-all books. I’ve spent the last few years keeping track of emails he has sent me and notes on phone calls between the three of us in preparation for these novels.
This post, however, is only about a specific instance. Since you don’t know a lot (or anything) about my dad except for the last blog I wrote, it may be hard to put all of this in context, which is why I will help you with subtext.
I don’t know who reads these posts and I am pretty sure that he doesn’t. And truthfully if he did, it might be good for him to understand me and why our relationship is the way it is. The new line in our house is “I’m in therapy, what are you doing?” And that is pretty much how I feel about the chance that he reads this. It can be his therapy.
My stepmom is dying of lung cancer. That is an entirely different story. Don’t be sad or say sorry or anything. That isn’t the point of this story. Let’s take it back a few years (approximately 72 years) to when she should have been diagnosed with some type of mental illness. Now let’s fast forward to the dying part. I am not entirely convinced that her last breathe can happen any minute as her entire life has been a cry wolf situation because of this undiagnosed mental illness.
This brings me to present day when I got the call from my father that my stepmom is going to assisted living to live out the rest of her “very few short days”. And here is the call:
Dad: “oh hey Laura. MI (let’s use that as her name for mental illness) is now in assisted living. they didn’t have a room left at hospice so they are there.”
Me: “give it to me straight. is she dying?”
Dad: “yes, about three months left”
Me: “How are you doing?”
Dad: “I’m tired. I am only getting about 5 hours of sleep per night.”
Me: “That must have been so hard to be alone in the house after all these years for the first time.”
Dad: “Yes. It was hard. I really could have used 8 hours of sleep.”
Me: “So how is she doing?”
Dad: “The doctors want to give her klonopin but she won’t take it. She never will take it.”
Me: “Klonopin is fucking awesome.”
Dad: “I was prescribed it once 13 years ago for a ‘urinary tract infection’ but I didn’t take it either.”
Stay tuned for my next post on the visit to the assisted living “last breathe” center.
P.S. There was no last breathe yet.
Yes I get ice cream sundaes at McDonald’s when I need a treat. Don’t judge me. I love ice cream. Probably as much as I love pancakes. I no longer buy ice cream for the house because it is impossible not to eat the entire gallon in a couple of days. Gallon. I do not buy pints. I don’t even understand why people buy pints. That’s just a tease. I messed up and bought a gallon of chocolate chip ice cream at the local corner store about a week ago. I needed it. I couldn’t stop myself and it had been quite a long time since a drive thru McD trip. And yes, it was gone in two days. Maybe three.
So McDonald’s it was last night. I just did 70 minutes on the treadmill and leg work so why not. A girl needs dessert. It’s funny because I always know when K and I are on the same page about it too. We both look at each other and just know it’s a McD night. So we hopped in the car with Fred and went on our way to get one.
Fred loves drive thru windows. He gets munchkins at Dunkin and bones at the bank and CVS. He sneaks his head around to make sure the person at the window knows he is there. It’s adorable. Of course at McD they don’t give him anything so that makes him sad.*
Back to the drive thru. Each time we go to McD for our sundaes it’s hilarious because it is always a different price and we always get the same thing and it just cracks me up. Sometimes it is $3.68. Sometimes it’s $4.17. Other times is’s $3.98. It’s just a crapshoot and I love it. You know what else I love? Everything about those sundaes. And you know you want one too.
*He gets to lick the plastic cup after so he doesn’t stay sad.
Once again I had another breakdown at work. This is now the second this quarter, which I guess is better than I used to be at my old job where I had like month long breakdowns where I would just cry under my desk, in my car, and once just left for a week without telling anyone. And the funny thing about that was nobody noticed I was gone!
I don’t like getting emotional at work but it happens. I am an emotional person and I believe in the work that I do. I don’t just come in and go home and forget about it. Just not who I am. Maybe if I took care of my personal self the way I take care of my professional self I would be unstoppable. Anyway, it happens and I cry. And I get mad. And I want to throw things but I don’t. Instead I take walks around the parking lot. And I look at the rocks I want to throw instead of throwing them. I also put on my beats and listen to music loudly, pull my hair, and then dream about the big plate of pasta I am going to eat when I get home. I always eat pasta when I get upset.
It doesn’t really matter why I get upset. That’s not the point of this post. The point is that I cry at everything and I just have to learn to accept it and not apologize for it because I go from crying to laughing in T minus 60 and it’s just the way I am. I cry at commercials, I cry when I walk past Lucky Charms at the store, I cry when I watch Fred play ball, I cry when I look at pictures of elephants. You get the point. I just get emotional.
However, what I would like to understand is why I don’t cry at big things. My stepmother is supposedly dying of lung cancer and I haven’t shed a single tear. And I’ve tried. I’ve sat down and thought about it and still haven’t been able to cry. Who knows. I’m not really putting too much thought into it.
One thing I learned today is when I take two minutes to breathe in and out, the second I allow myself the first breath, tears flow down my face but after the two minutes, I’m totally dry eyed. Allowing ourselves to cry is good. Try it sometime. Just maybe not in the conference room.